A SWINDON charity that supports children with rare disorders or those who remain undiagnosed has benefited from a cash boost to the tune of £37,657.
SCWAD (Swindon Children Without A Diagnosis) has received the money as part of the BBC Children in Need’s first 2014 grant rounds, with £65,612 granted across five projects working with disadvantaged children and young people in Wiltshire.
The money presented to SCWAD, which is a support group for parents and carers of children who have rare chromosomal or metabolic disorders, or who remain undiagnosed, will be used to organise weekend activities and holiday outings for the young people.
Teresa Brett, who runs the support group, said she was delighted with the latest cash injection which will make a huge difference to those who use the group.
“Receiving a further three years funding from BBC Children in Need is wonderful news and means that we can continue with our programme of Saturday activity sessions and trips.
“The children and young people really benefit from the activity sessions and as they naturally progress more slowly than their mainstream peers these projects would not be effective if they weren’t long term.
“Reducing isolation for them and their families is also key.”
As well as supporting parents and carers with coffee mornings and socials, the children meet in monthly activity sessions. It gives them a chance to meet new friends in a relaxed atmosphere.
The group, which was originally set up by Teresa and another mum, is run by a committee of parents whose children are part of the group.
Teresa’s second son, Robin, who is now 18, has learning difficulties, but she and her husband didn’t know why until three years ago.
The experience inspired Teresa to create the group in 2009, when doctors still hadn’t fully diagnosed Robin’s condition.
He was eventually diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyper-plasia (CAH), which is a metabolic disease and genetic defect of the adrenal gland, but this did not explain why he had complex learning difficulties.
In 2010, after further tests, the family finally found out that Robin’s learning difficulties are due to a condition called chromosome duplication.
Clare Cannock, BBC Children in Need’s regional manager for the South West, said: “We are delighted to be awarding this money to projects in Wiltshire which will go on to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the area. “The support we get each year is staggering and everyone should feel proud of what they have made possible.”
The grants are the first of many that will take place across the year, and were made possible following the appeal night in November when a record-breaking £31.1m was raised on the night by the British public. This was more than has ever been raised before and the total will continue to rise as more donations come in.
Whether it is raised through cake sales or pyjama days, every penny of the money raised goes towards supporting projects in the UK.